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Zephrys the Great guide

Here's how to get to grips with Zephrys the Great.

With the release of Hearthstone’s latest expansion, Saviors of Uldum, a mechanic was reintroduced that we hadn’t seen since the days of Kazakus from the Mean Streets of Gadgetzan. That’s right, Highlander decks have made their return, and despite early skepticism regarding their viability, they’ve taken the ladder by storm. Taking duplicates out of your deck is a big ask, but the decks have performed brilliantly so far.

Of course, despite how good Reno the Relicologist and Dinotamer Brann may be, Zephrys the Great is the true MVP of these decks. His card text reads: ‘If your deck has no duplicates, wish for the perfect card’. The perfect card you say? Consider us intrigued.

It’s not immediately clear what the ‘perfect’ card is, though, especially not through the card text. In this guide for Hearthstone’s latest expansion, Saviors of Uldum, we’ll go through all the small print and explain how to nudge Zephrys the Great into giving you the card you really want.

User Norm_Gunderson on the Competitive Hearthstone subreddit has taken this card and run with it, and the community has come together to work out exactly how Zephrys works out which card is perfect for you.

Zephrys the Great guide

- Public Information -

Zephrys the Great doesn’t know what’s in your hand or your opponent’s hand, nor does he know what’s in each deck. This includes the coin or the last card in your deck, even if you know what’s going to happen. This means you need to tell him what you want. Zephrys won’t necessarily offer you a fireball if your opponent is at 12 health and you have a Fireball in hand. Play the first Fireball before Zephrys, and he’ll offer you lethal. He does understand things like deck size and the class of each player, so he shouldn’t do silly things like offer you card draw when you’re fatigued.

If you take one single thing away from this guide, make it this, and Zephrys the Great will start clutching out games you think are beyond your grasp.

- What's his card pool? -

The Basic and Classic sets are where the wishes will come from. This makes it easier to set up the board in advance and predict what you’re looking for, so get to know which cards are available and work from there. He’ll never dip into the Hall of Fame in Wild format too, so keep that in mind if you’re there. Common Basic and Classic cards that Zephrys the Great can conjure up are Bloodlust and Savage Roar, which will usually show themselves when you’ve got a wide board, and Mass Dispel or Silence to break through enemy Taunts or nullify Deathrattles.

You won’t be given rubbish cards from the Basic or Classic sets either. You’ll get offered Sen'jin Shieldmasta, but not Magma Rager.

- Can he offer lethal? -

Zephrys the Great will always find lethal. Occasionally this can come in unique ways that you might not have thought of, so if he offers you a weird-looking card pick, take a second look and see if he’s found something you didn’t think of. Maybe a Cabal Shadow Priest or Shadow Madness can nab an enemy Taunt and leave space for you to cut through with your other minions.

One little Lethal opportunity we’ve had presented to us is the Shaman spell, Windfury. Allowing a big minion on your side of the board to attack an extra time can be all the difference you need to kill your opponent, so think carefully about your pick if you’re looking for lethal.

Zephrys offers you damaging spells based on your current mana situation too. Interestingly, he favours the drawback of Overload rather than Discard, and as such will offer you Lightning Bolt ahead of Soulfire (unless that extra 1 damage guarantees lethal). With 3 mana left, you’ll get Lava Burst if you need it, and for 4 mana, Fireball will be on offer.

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- What he doesn't understand -

The development team is currently evaluating whether or not to change the fact that Zephrys the Great assumes a character has the base Hero Power, rather than any changes or upgrades. This means Zephrys won’t necessarily offer you Pyroblast when an enemy Warrior is at 10 Health, as he’ll assume they will Armor Up the next turn even if they’ve got their Hack the System or Dr. Boom, Mad Genius Hero Powers. Keep this in mind when looking for specific cards.

Sometimes, Zephrys the Great will offer you a weird tech card rather than a broader play, such as a Hungry Crab to get rid of an enemy Murloc or Blood Knight for Divine Shields. Try to remove as many of these interferences before playing him if at all possible. The poor guy just gets confused sometimes. He’s been stuck in a lamp for ages, give him a break.

One thing he does understand? The great Lord Jaraxxus, Eredar Lord of the Burning Legion. You may be aware that Sacrificial Pact is able to kill Lord Jaraxxus for 0 mana, so Zephrys the Great will always offer it if your opponent’s Hero has transformed into him. The very cheesiest of wins - don’t get caught out by it and pick Jaraxxus from Zephrys!

More great Mage guides:

- No wishing for more wishes -

Shadowstep, Ancient Brewmaster and Youthful Brewmaster are banned from the Zephrys the Great card pool.

- Zephrys and immediacy -

Cards you can play on the same turn are prioritised, as often you’ll be looking for an immediate answer to what’s on the board. Remember that Zephrys doesn’t know what’s in your hand, so if you’re looking for a play for the following turn, try to spend the last of your mana on Zephrys the Great so he knows you’re planning for the future. If you play him on an empty board on turn 2, he’ll usually offer you the stronger 3 cost cards in the Classic and Basic sets, including Animal Companion and Wild Growth, but it’s often best to wait for bigger impact from your genie friend. Unless you’re trying to keep up with tempo desperately or have some very specific plays to make after Wild Growth, it might be best to wait it out.

- Be proactive with Zephrys -

It’s tempting to keep Zephrys for an emergency Twisting Nether later on in the game, but sometimes he can give you something to turn the tide of battle big time: A Consecration to get rid of a bunch of enemies, or even a Sea Giant to play on the very same turn. Get one of these plays off, and it could lead to snowballing your way to victory, as you won’t even need that extra board clear.

- Your wish is his suggestion -

So there you have it, our top tips for making the best possible use of Zephrys the Great! Keep these in mind and your wishes will come true.

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